Photo Credit: Candace Abroad
The Black Expat in London: I Moved From The U.S. To London And Empower Women To Move Abroad
Meet Candace Abroad, a traveler originally hailing from Florida and New Jersey setting up life as a Black expat in London. At the heart of Candace’s work is empowering and educating women on making the leap to become an expat in London. In this interview, she shares her journey, stories and fave Black-owned business in the streets of London.
Tell us about yourself
Hey! My name is Candace. I’m a London travel blogger and social media & influencer marketing consultant from Florida & New Jersey, living across the pond since 2016.
What drew you to London?
Basically, I was scrolling Facebook one day when I was in high school and saw some content about studying for free in Germany, which led me to look at studying and living in Europe. I started getting retargeting ads (thanks Zuckerburg) after that, saw the opportunity to study in London and haven’t looked back since.
Within my first year abroad I knew I wanted to make a home here. For one, London’s insanely diverse. You can literally hear about twelve languages in a single afternoon. Being so close to the rest of Europe and great airport links, it’s really to satisfy your travel bug here without breaking the bank. And lastly, the opportunities! Moving abroad at 18 I knew I wanted to be somewhere I could get a great education and advance my career along the way — London gave me both.
On a personal note, as a Black woman living in the U.S. in a very suburban town, I constantly felt like a watered-down version of myself. London was the first place I felt like I could fully be me.
How do you empower women to make the move abroad?
I think knowledge is power. So if you’re on the fence or scared about moving abroad, make Google your best friend for at least the next 30 days. You’d be surprised how empowered you feel to move in a certain direction once you’ve read, listened and watched stories of hundreds of women that have done the same thing you want to do (in business and in life!).
My eBook Across the Pond: A Young Expat’s Guide to London Life is a resource I created to help, full of stories, tips and advice based off my years of living in London.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to move to London
Do your research. Unlike Mexico, Bali, Thailand and many other digital nomad friendly countries; you can’t move to London on a whim. My route was moving on a Tier 4 student visa for my bachelor’s and master’s, after which you can transfer to a post-grad work visa or a sponsored work visa. The majority of expats I know living here moved for work or to study, but there’s not much in between, so make sure to do your research.
I’d also suggest saving for at least 6 months before you move, London is expensive!
(P.S – If you want more in-depth advice on all things moving to London, you should definitely read Across the Pond: A Young Expat’s Guide to London Life).
Moving abroad solo can be daunting, how did you prepare yourself?
I’ve always been super independent, so believe it or not the idea of moving 3,000 miles away was only exciting to me. But to ease any nerves I always say to do the regret test. If you think about (say, moving abroad) and picture yourself at 90 years old, would you regret that you did or didn’t move abroad?
Chances are you’d regret you didn’t make the move, whether that’s with someone or not. So I’d just encourage you to come back to that thought whenever you’re second guessing yourself.